Bakries seek more Bumi loan options

Kasmira Jefford
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INDONESIA’S billionaire Bakrie family is believed to have approached China Investment Corporation (CIC), the Chinese sovereign wealth fund, as it looks to refinance a $1.35bn (£870m) loan held against its stake in the FTSE 100 coal mining firm Bumi.

Bumi, in which the Bakrie family hold the largest stake of 47 per cent, was brought to London this year via a share swap with financier Nat Rothschild’s cash shell Vallar.

The Bakries have been holding re-financing talks on its debt after a sharp drop in Bumi’s share price triggered a mandatory repayment of the $1.35bn loan arranged by Credit Suisse.

Global mining giant Glencore has been in discussions with the Bakrie group about offering a loan for a part of the Bakrie’s debt.

In return for the loan, Glencore would have access to greater trading rights on coal produced by Bumi and the option of turning the loan into shares if the Bakries cannot repay the debt at the end of the term.

However, according to reports this weekend, the Bakries have been exploring further refinancing options, including a potential deal with CIC, with whom they already hold loans through another subsidiary company.

A new group thought to be led by an Indonesian company was also rumoured this weekend to have offered to help the Bakries.

Bumi shares have fallen by a third over the last three months following uncertainty over the Bakrie’s stake together with a slump in the mining sector.